The Grapes of Wrath - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grapes of Wrath Reviews

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½ August 21, 2016
This drama is essential a road trip across America set during the depression. It contains some very touching scenes, interspersed with comic moments. Although a little too long, it features some outstanding performances from the lead actors. This classic movie is very important from an historical viewpoint and is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. AAN 1001
July 8, 2016
I love this movie if I lived in 1940 I would say this movie would be one of the best movies of all time and shows the depression in a way I had never seen in a movie.
½ June 28, 2016
Enthralling tale of Okies being thrown off their land during the Dust Bowl/Depression and subsequently heading west to California to live in squalor with others seeking jobs. Henry Fonda is suitably rebellious as Tom Joad, the kid just back from prison who has to pack up with his family (11 all told) and navigate the route and the perils upon it. So, it's a road movie of sorts, but the real drama takes place in the Golden State when their hopes and dreams are dashed. Director John Ford chose his character actors well (they are not all recongizable stars) and cinematographer Gregg Toland uses light beautifully both on location (particularly in the desert) and on the studio sets. Yet, for all the realness infused here, you can't forget this is a prestige picture, as the flow of things comes to a sudden halt every now and again when one of the players let loose with a hefty chunk of text from John Steinbeck's source novel. Fonda gets the meatiest quotes ("Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there...") but the picture ends nobly with Ma Joad's (Jane Darwell) "We are the people" speech, apparently producer Zanuck's idea against John Ford's wishes for a more downbeat ending. But how downbeat can you get? That said, I reckon the actual reality for folks at that time was harsher and less cinematic. For all their attempts to p a collective solution to the problems of poverty and exploitation by the owning classes, Steinbeck and Ford wound up being investigated by HUAC (even though Ford was a noted conservative). You can't win.
May 27, 2016
The Great Depression may be a thing of the past, but this touching, poignant classic is as powerful and vital now as it was in the '40s.
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2016
Such a solid, well-made film with a great performance from Fonda.
January 30, 2016
Though a little more political than its source material, the universal truths and the empathy it inspires rings louder than ever in this 1940 masterpiece.
½ January 22, 2016
Probably one of the worst and most boring stories I've ever seen. 10 thumbs down.
December 12, 2015
A saddening, but ultimately inspiring film with great performances and beautiful cinematography that deserves to be a Classic American drama.
December 7, 2015
A grim and depressing era of desperation with a group of hard, caring workers pushes through an unsettling and untrustworthy world of scam and ruling. Grapes of Wrath is touching and real with its audiences. The plot moves along well and the cinematography is sweeping. An excellent piece of American cinema!
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2015
Ford and Johnson were able to transpose Steinbeck's masterpiece into a splendid film that preserves the book's essence (even with a different, upbeat ending) without infringing the infamous rules of the Hays Code, yet it also feels a bit rushed and lacking in sufficient information (e.g., Noah vanishing without explanation).
½ November 14, 2015
When the most humanistic Hollywood director meets with the most realistic contemporary US novel on the Great Depression, John Ford's film adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath is undoubtedly a masterpiece which will never become dated. Explicitly praising people's perseverance and upholding the strong stabilizing force of family, criticisms on modernization and injustice of capitalism, as well as the bond of motherland are addressed cordially, thanks to the excellent performance of the entire cast, especially Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, who played the pillar Ma Joad flawlessly.
½ October 21, 2015
A Powerful and intriguing film that portrays a dark chapter in american history.

Definitely derserves it's recognition as an american classic.
October 18, 2015
takes on a touch subject and i'm sure didn't make much $$ at that time
½ October 17, 2015
Can't keep a good family down..
September 12, 2015
A stellar piece of depression-era Americana that is equal parts mesmerizing and devastating.
July 26, 2015
The Grapes of Wrath is a wonderful adaptation of the novel of the same name with a great direction by John Ford and a great performance by Henry Fonda!
May 12, 2015
Absolutely stunning and heartfelt look into the poverty and hardships felt during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.
March 9, 2015
#23 on AFI's Top 100 Movies: Henry Fonda + John Steinbeck = sure fire win for me.
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